Wildlife corridors work – until we ruin them

Kerri Martin Photography Black Bear
Wildlife corridors – those that are natural and those that are created by humans have a proven track record of reducing wildlife conflict. But now wildlife officials are searching solutions for a species that’s invading these delicate corridors: humans.

CBC News reported on the Western Black Bear Workshop in Canmore, a symposium for wildlife managers to discuss various subjects, including the mitigation of conflict with bears and humans.

"There's alot of concern right now, that with the high levels of human use, that the wildlife use of these corridors is going tostart to drop off," Jon Jorgenson, an Alberta biologist told the CBC.

Another biologist, Jay Honeyman, told the CBC that the aversion programs used with bears to teach them to use the wildlife corridors has so far been successful – but human intervention is making that difficult.

"When the landscape is changing on an annual basis, I think it's been difficult for all of us—animals included—to try and make sense of it all," he said.

As is the case with most wildlife conflict, it isn’t the fur-bearing animals causing problems: it’s the bipeds. We all love wildlife – and we want to be up close and personal with the critters we adore. But when we get too close – through feeding, recreational use of their territories, or even unsafe photography – we increase the probability of conflict.

In order to protect the animals we love, we must let them be who they are – wild and free.

Photo by Kerri Martin Photography

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